Alright, let’s face it, eating healthy can become expensive very quickly, which makes all of that unhealthy food even more tempting. I mean you would think that since healthy food is what we’re supposed to eat it would be more accessible and for a cheaper price, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Because trust me, when I go to a grocery store and have the option to choose from a pizza that will cost me $10 or a healthy meal that’s going to cost me $20, you can bet that pizza is starting to look real good. However, eating healthy is something that can be done on a budget if we do it the right way. Here are a few tips on foods that we can stick to, that will make eating healthy a little more friendly on the pocket.
Our staple foods are going to be what most of our meals are based around. These are going to be like the foundation of most of our meals. Some examples of staple foods that we could get are items like rice, pasta, oatmeal, and potatoes. Rice is one of those staples that can go with just about anything. I mean after all, we know how much everyone loves having their chicken, and rice! Pasta is another good staple item to have around just because of its versatility. I know when most of us see pasta we immediately think that it's bad, but when we limit the amount of pasta that we have it can actually be a really good carbohydrate for us. Oatmeal is a food that most people tend to think of only for breakfast, but it is also a food that can be used for smaller snacks such as energy bars or balls. Oatmeal is a food that will give you long lasting energy no matter the time of day. Finally, we all love us some potatoes, so having these around the house is going to be very helpful when trying to plan out meals. Potatoes can be made in a wide variety of ways, and they can also provide us with the good carbohydrates that we need when consumed in moderation. As you can see, all of these staple foods can be used in a variety of ways and are a good foundation to start our meals with. Not to mention, all of these are usually easy on the budget, and what’s not to love about that!
We always hear how we need to eat 2-3 cups of vegetables a day, but as most of us know, this alone is a difficult task. Not to mention, vegetables aren’t always the cheapest thing at the grocery store and have a pretty short shelf life compared to other foods. This is why most of us struggle to not only eat enough vegetables each day, but also to just buy them when we go grocery shopping. One way we can help combat this is to limit the variety of vegetables that we buy when we go grocery shopping. I know most of us like to have a variety to choose from, but start limiting it to 2 or 3 different vegetables for the week can help. This will allow you to still have a variety to choose from for the week, and it will help limit the waste from them going bad. Not to mention, it will help save you money each week too! So what we can do is pick 2 to 3 vegetables that are versatile and can be used in several different meals. Some examples of vegetables that are good for things like this are tomatoes, mixed greens, cucumbers, and broccoli. These can be used in most recipes and all provide us with several benefits. Adding these vegetables into each of our meals will help us reach our recommended vegetable goal each day.
Just like with vegetables, most of us struggle to get the recommended 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit each day. To help us reach that number, we can keep some fruits around that house that are easy for us to grab really quick, and eat on the go. Also, having fruits that can go with several different meals can also be really helpful. Some examples of this would be apples, bananas, oranges, and berries. All of these fruits are easy to grab and eat on the go, or to incorporate into our meals. Like the vegetables, some fruits are known to have a fairly short shelf life. So to help us limit the amount of fruit that we waste each week, we can have 2 to 3 different fruits for us to eat each week and then change them up week to week. This will help us save some money and will once again help us reduce the amount of food wasted.
When we think of eating healthy we tend to think of fresh foods and not frozen. While fresh foods are usually always preferred, sometimes frozen options can be just as good. And not to mention, frozen foods have a way longer shelf life than fresh foods do. Now when I say frozen foods I don’t mean things like frozen pizza or TV dinners. What I mean are things like frozen fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, green beans, spinach, and mixed vegetables. This is a much easier and cheaper way for us to get in our fruit and vegetables without having to worry about them going bad. Having some of our fruits and vegetables frozen will help allow us to have that bigger variety that most of us prefer. Then when we’re ready to eat them, we can just pop them in the microwave and they’re ready to go.
Sometimes we don’t always have the time to sit down and cook something, which can make eating something healthy rather difficult sometimes. So to help us eliminate spending money to go out and eat during times like this, we can keep some items in our pantry that will make eating healthy at home easier on us. Some items that we can keep in our pantry are items like peanut butter, tuna, beans, honey, and nuts. Things such as peanut butter, honey, and nuts are items that we can add for some added nutritional value to our meals, or are a good go to if we need a quick, healthy snack. The tuna and beans are good for a lighter meal if we don’t want something really heavy to eat, or they can also be good additions to our meals. Most of these items are on the cheaper end and unlike the fruits and vegetables they last for a long time.
By making some of these small adjustments when it comes to what we buy at the grocery store can help us stay on track, budget wise. Doing some of these things can make eating healthy seem like it’s much more affordable and seem like we don’t have to break the bank to eat healthy food. Most of these adjustments are easy and will only be minor changes to what we already do. So finding a few fruits and vegetables to purchase every week, along with having some staple food and items in our pantry will help set us up for success while also keeping us on budget.
Schedule a call with one of our coaches today to talk more about your health and fitness goals. We would love to help!